Davey Johnson says Chien-Ming Wang “is doing very well” and could return this month

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Chien-Ming Wang has looked good enough throwing off a mound in extended spring training that he could be ready to join the Nationals’ rotation later this month, according to manager Davey Johnson.

Johnson told James Wagner of the Washington Post that Wang “is doing very well” in his recovery from a hamstring injury and “is ahead of the program.”

Assuming that Wang can avoid a setback it’ll be interesting to see what the Nationals do once he’s healthy, as they demoted John Lannan to Triple-A even though Wang was on the DL and opted to go with Ross Detwiler as the No. 5 starter.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.